SBJ/May 2-8, 2011/In Depth

Building the sport

Meet some of the people playing major roles in taking lacrosse to the next level

Ryan Boyle

Co-founder, CEO
Trilogy Lacrosse
Boyle, a standout player at Princeton, was known for his smarts on the field, and he’s taken that into the business world as well. Trilogy has become a leader in camps and clinics, with more than 40 events in 11 states.

Sean Bratches

Executive vice president, sales and marketing
ESPN
ESPN will broadcast about 40 men’s and women’s college lacrosse matches on ESPNU this spring, making the sport a staple of the college network’s programming. Bratches has been the executive giving lacrosse the biggest push within ESPN’s walls.

George Daniel

Commissioner
National Lacrosse League

The 10-team indoor league runs through the winter and spring. Versus picks up seven games, as well as the playoffs, which culminate later this month. Daniel, in his third season as commissioner, has targeted New York and Vancouver for expansion, although no timetable is set.

Jim Davis

Chairman
New Balance

Behind Davis’ push, New Balance has been one of the biggest investors in Major League Lacrosse and a staunch supporter of the sport. While Davis prefers to keep a low profile, he remains one of the most influential figures in lacrosse.

David Gross

Commissioner
Major League Lacrosse

Behind Gross’ often-understated leadership, the league has a growing list of sponsors and a plan to expand from six to 16 teams through the next decade. MLL will put new teams in Charlotte and Columbus next year.

Dave Morrow

CEO, chairman
Warrior

Morrow teamed with Jake Steinfeld to help form Major League Lacrosse. A former player and coach, Morrow has built Warrior into the industry leader for lacrosse equipment, and the company is an important financial backer of the league, while also leading the grassroots effort to grow the sport.

Paul Rabil

Player
Major League Lacrosse
National Lacrosse League

Rabil is the first lacrosse star to cross over into the mainstream with endorsement deals that extend beyond the endemic brands in lacrosse. Rabil most notably has deals with Red Bull and Under Armour, and he’s active on Twitter as a way to promote the sport. He’s the first star who made lacrosse cool.

Jake Steinfeld

Founder
Major League Lacrosse

The “Body by Jake” guy started MLL in 1998 after reading about the growth of lacrosse. Play began in 2001 and Steinfeld has remained involved in most of the league’s major decisions.

—Compiled by Michael Smith

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